Dennis Farina - Rotten Tomatoes

Dennis Farina



Lovable tough guy character actor Dennis Farina was already well into his first career as a Chicago cop before he was able to turn his occasional acting gigs into a prodigious new line of work.

Raised in Chicago by Italian immigrant parents, Farina joined his hometown's police force in the mid-'60s, settling into a life of law enforcement. When he was hired to be a local consultant on Michael Mann's film Thief (1981), however, Farina wound up with a bit part as the villain's heavy. Farina continued to moonlight as an actor for several years, appearing in local theater and occasional movies, including Final Jeopardy (1985) and the Chuck Norris vehicle Code of Silence (1985). Though he never took an acting class, Farina was a natural; after Michael Mann offered him the lead in the series Crime Story in 1986, Farina left the police force to play a TV cop. During his 1986-1988 stint on the series, Farina also played FBI agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glen's part in Silence of the Lambs [1991]) in Mann's stylish thriller Manhunter (1986), was the Birdman of Alcatraz in the TV movie Six Against the Rock (1987), and a cop in TV movie mystery Through Naked Eyes (1987).



Drawing on his no-nonsense charm as well as his eclectic life experience, Farina continued to shine in roles on both sides of the law, such as serial killer Angelo Buono in The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989) and the lead prosecutor in the TV docudrama Blind Faith (1990). As nimble with comedy, Farina went up against Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin as a mobster in the popular buddy yarn Midnight Run (1988). His versatility firmly established by the 1990s, Farina's early '90s work ranged from playing a billionaire in People Like Us (1990), to Banquo in a New York gangland version of Macbeth, Men of Honor (1991), as well as supporting roles in the comedy Another Stakeout (1993), Bruce Willis actioner Striking Distance (1993), John Turturro's Italian-American family drama Mac (1993), and vicious neo-noir Romeo Is Bleeding (1994).



Farina's appearance as John Travolta's nemesis, hilariously bumbling tough guy Ray "Bones" Barboni, in Barry Sonnenfeld's adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty (1995), led to his most notable hit since Midnight Run. His career hitting a new high, Farina co-starred with Bette Midler as reunited exes in Carl Reiner's That Old Feeling (1997), and starred as a Sicilian bigwig in the high-profile TV miniseries Bella Mafia (1997). Though his Marshall Sisco made only a brief appearance in Steven Soderbergh's esteemed Elmore Leonard adaptation Out of Sight (1998), Farina was pitch-perfect as Jennifer Lopez's protective dad. After joining the superb corps in Steven Spielberg's award-winning Saving Private Ryan (1998), Farina returned to series TV, playing smooth detective Buddy Faro (1998); the series, however, lasted only one season.



Returning to films, Farina followed his role as the police captain who recruits The Mod Squad (1999) with another comic turn as a New York gangster who sets the diamond larceny plot in motion in Snatch (2000), adding a dash of Hollywood celebrity (along with Brad Pitt and Benicio del Toro) to British lad director Guy Ritchie's sophomore effort. The releases of two of Farina's next films, Barry Sonnenfeld's caper Big Trouble (2001) and Edward Burns' romantic comedy Sidewalks of New York (2001), were delayed after the terrorist attack on New York on September 11, 2001. Sidewalks of New York surfaced later in 2001, but the romantic comedy failed to charm a large audience. Big Trouble finally made it into theaters in the first half of 2002, but despite the big name cast, Sonnenfeld's farce joined such high profile fare as Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Collateral Damage (2002) and the espionage actioner Bad Company (2002) on the list of 9/11-delayed flops. Farina's next film, the broad, witless comedy Stealing Harvard (2002), also failed at the box office. Farina returned

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
40% Lucky Stiff
  • Luigi
2015
7% Authors Anonymous
  • John K. Butzin
2014
75% The Last Rites of Joe May
  • Joe May
2011
10% Knucklehead
  • Memphis Earl
2010
27% What Happens in Vegas
  • Banger
2008
48% Bottle Shock
  • Maurice
2008
40% The Grand
  • L.B.J. Deuce Fairbanks
2008
No Score Yet National Lampoon's Bag Boy
  • Marty
2007
78% You Kill Me
  • Edward O'Leary
2007
No Score Yet Purple Violets
  • Gilmore
2007
No Score Yet Empire Falls
  • Walt Comeau
2005
18% Paparazzi
  • Detective Burton
2004
74% This Old Cub
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet The Italian Americans
  • Actor
2004
9% Stealing Harvard
  • Mr. Warner
2002
48% Big Trouble
  • Henry
2002
57% Sidewalks of New York
  • Carpo
2001
20% Bad Seed
  • Dick
2001
73% Snatch
  • Avi
2001
25% Reindeer Games (Deception)
  • Jack Bangs
2000
4% The Mod Squad
  • Greer
1999
92% Saving Private Ryan
  • Lt. Col. Anderson
1998
93% Out of Sight
  • Marshall Sisco
1998
No Score Yet Bella Mafia
  • Don Roberto Luciano
1997
43% That Old Feeling
  • Dan De Mora
1997
15% Eddie
  • Coach Bailey
1996
86% Get Shorty
  • Ray Barboni
1995
No Score Yet Out of Annie's Past
  • Charlie Ingle
1995
No Score Yet Bonanza: Under Attack
  • Charley Siringo
1995
33% Little Big League
  • George O'Farrell
1994
No Score Yet One Woman's Courage
  • Craig McKenna
1994
No Score Yet High Stakes
  • Actor
1993
14% Striking Distance
  • Capt. Nick Detillo
1993
14% Another Stakeout
  • Brian O'Hara
1993
22% Romeo Is Bleeding
  • Nick Gazzara
1993
No Score Yet The Disappearance of Nora
  • Denton
1993
No Score Yet Street Crimes
  • Brian O'Neal
1992
No Score Yet We're Talkin' Serious Money
  • Sal
1992
70% Mac
  • Mr. Stunder
1992
No Score Yet American Gangster
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet Cruel Doubt
  • Tom Brereton
1992
No Score Yet Men of Respect
  • Bankie Como
1991
No Score Yet People Like Us
  • Elias Renthal
1990
No Score Yet The Case of the Hillside Stranglers
  • Angelo Buono
1989
96% Midnight Run
  • Jimmy Serrano
1988
No Score Yet Six Against the Rock
  • Birdman of Alcatraz
1987
94% Manhunter
  • Jack Crawford
1986
55% Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling
  • Freddy
1986
No Score Yet Crime Story: The Chicago Years
  • Actor
1986
50% Code of Silence
  • Dorato
1985
No Score Yet The Killing Floor
  • Harry Brennan
1985
No Score Yet The Birthday Boy
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Through Naked Eyes
  • Patrolman #1
1983
96% Thief
  • Carl
1981

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Det. Joe Fontana
No Score Yet Family Guy
1999
  • Voice
87% Luck
2011-2012
  • Gus Demitriou
93% New Girl
2011
  • Walt Walt Miller

Quotes from Dennis Farina's Characters